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Re: feedback on intellectual rights and ethics

Nov 13, 1997 12:05 PM
by kymsmith

Eldon wrote:

>   A posting is the intellectual property of its writer. When someone
>   submits an article to a magazine, the magazine gets copyright for
>   use of the article as part of an integral whole. It may not reuse
>   the article separately nor in other contexts. These other rights
>   to the article belong to the author.

A magazine is making a monetary profit due to your submission and pays you
for it via money or copies - this is entirely different than someone who is
posting something without compensation.  Putting something out in the public
domain leaves it open for use - example: when a news organization is
videotaping a "street scene" they need not get the "OK" from those walking
down the street or anyone else in the background - it is understood that
being in a "public domain" as being implicit permission to be "seen."  Nor
do the news companies have to pay these "background" people.  

The magazine may not use your article void of your permission for reasons of
further financial gain - but a READER who wants to quote from your article,
as long as citation is given, is protected by law.  Remember the "300 word"

>   Posting something to a mailing list is effectively submitting an
>   article to a magazine.

I do not see how you can draw this conclusion.

>   Reposting an piece to another list, or on a news group, is effectively
>   reprinting an article in another magazine. This is something that
>   should not be done without the author's permission. Sometimes
>   there may be *implicit* permission. That is, it is clear by what
>   is written that it is fine with the author to repost (republish)
>   the work. Whenever it's not clear-cut, it's always best -- and
>   quite easy -- to write the author.

Again, the write to quote is implicit in the law.  I need not ask permission
of any author whose writings I utilize from the Web as long as I stay within
copyright laws.

>   It's also acceptable to cite small portions of a work in a
>   critical review. When that review is held on another list or
>   news group, though, there's the question of intellectual
>   honesty. The small portions quoted from a single message in
>   an on-going discussion can easily be out-of-context, and
>   wildly misrepresent the nature of the discussion and what
>   the writer was saying.

Although this can often be true, the author is the one responsible for
taking legal action - or writing a response themselves - if they feel they
have been misrepresented.  There are many people who have been quoted who
later wish they hadn't - made them look bad; however, this is no reason to
halt the right to quote others.  People have the right to understand in
their own way what an author is saying - and unless 'genuine malice' is
evident - the author takes that chance every time they pen something.

>    This can range from a mild misrepresentation
>   of the author's views to bitter back-stabbing in a place where
>   the author is not present to defend themselves.

". . .bitter back-stabbing?"  Need we always look at humanity so negatively?

>   If someone
>   wants a similar discussion on a different list, it's quite
>   easy to simply make a few statements, perhaps including some
>   ideas that they disagree with, and let things go from there.

What you mean is unclear to me here.  Are you saying a person should write
in their words only any disagreements they may have with a writer of a post
on a different list?  What if they agree with the writer?  Does the same
apply?  Although I concur that would be ideal - I don't see that happening
in the real world - "criminal honor" is hard to come by now.

I understand this particular passage you've offered, being it the only thing
I have to go on, as an attempt to limit free speech/writing.  Your arguments
don't have legal standing - I don't think.  I resent (and I am a published
author so this affects me too) your notion that the right to quote should be
taken away.

Is this your intention?


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